Politics is a lot like the board game Twister. For those of you familiar with the painfully analogue twentieth century floor game, you might see an immediate connection between the colour of the spots (on the mat) being the same hue as the four main parties: Blue, Yellow, Red and Green.
Twister is a game of luck, flexibility, of working in close - and sometimes uncomfortable - proximity with other people where hands and feet - determined by the spinner (more on that later) - are placed in ever more impossible positions where those involved, like politics, end up in knots with themselves or with each other to - more often than not - disastrous effect.
Now of course there are other colours not represented in the game like purple, nor does it take into consideration the two shades of green associated to Plaid Cymru and The Green Party who, according to tech developer Richard Allen, uses the following HTML/CSS colour code:
#3F8428 R:63 G:132 B:40
#008066 R:0 G:116 B:95
Even removing these small points, it could be argued that the metaphor remains strong with the colours further illustrating how the Conservatives and Lib Dems have found themselves intertwined in a once unlikely coalition of hands and feet; unsteady extremities interchanging between blue and yellow spots/views with the constant threat of a misplaced or withdrawn limb to bring one or more down.
And now for the individual who - for reasons known only to themselves - chooses to sit out of the game yet still calls the shots: the spinner. With the other players on the ground focusing on their ever-changing and shaky positions, this appointment could fall to an umpire who takes his or her counsel from Machiavelli and inspiration from Shakespeare’s Richard III and Macbeth. It could be seen as a role of manipulation where the spin results (which colour the pointer comes to a stop at) are not fully shared or if they are, are passed through a dizzying array of heavy smoke and broken mirrors that politicians and public alike are left confused as to which colour is which, whether that was an actual apology or did he/she actually answer the question?
This is ultimately a rather dark view on the profession more akin with Messrs Francis Urquhart and his younger American cousin, Frank Underwood, but it does – for the purposes of moving this metaphor closer to its limit – highlight the precarious and insecure nature of a House (made) of Cards, and Twister.
Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood in House of Cards
Over the last 48 hours the leaders of the main parties have criss-crossed the country in routes akin to that other 70s phenomenon: Etch-a-Sketch. Its leaders hoarse with projection, their own feet worn by distance and their hands tired from slaps, pats and shakes. It was time to find a dark room, lit only by a TV flickering images of poll station exits, charts, swingometers, percentage points and finishing posts for the first to pass.
It was a late night for sure for politicians and TV presenters alike who are all looking a little worse for wear this morning despite the industrial quantities of make-up and coffee to puff and perk. At the time of writing, it looks like the Great British public have voted for, and are standing on, what looks like a blue majority*.
It means for those who’ve slipped and fell now need to untangle those knotted limbs, collect any dropped coins, keys and travel cards, and withdraw to the kitchen for a well-earned drink to reflect on those expectations which have turned out to be no stronger than our previously mentioned house of cards.
Blog updated 8th May 11.15am since it was first published on the 7th May.
Pictures courtesy of Wikipedia.